Grace To You

 
Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and from the LORD Jesus Christ.
 
Depending on which Bible version you use, the Apostle Paul wrote that at least 10 times,
 
It’s been nearly a year since I last added anything to this site.
And I have to admit that were it not for several things that have happened recently, I would likely not be writing now.
But, in the last week, several people have asked why I stopped writing, and I received one sweet comment from a reader who had read “HE IS RISEN, JESUS IS RISEN INDEED!” which was added on April 8, 2012, Easter Sunday.
More importantly, however, is the fact that I believe that the LORD is directing me to utilize my time differently and that includes adding something to this “Web Log” (read post from Jan. 16, 2012 that explains that choice of words).
My hope is that what I have to share will be a blessing to all who come to this place.

For those who do not know me, you can’t know that for the last 4 years my husband has been in the thick of a battle with colon cancer. It has been a test of our faith. We haven’t always passed the test. We have had more than a few moments of unbelief and fear. But faithful is He. And no matter what was happening, we found strength in His Word.

                                                Our Cause Is Christ’s Gospel

In 1533 the Reformation was sweeping through Europe. Imprisoned in the Tower of London and sentenced to die as a heretic was John Frith, an English Protestant priest, an outspoken voice against persecution and a soon to be martyr.

Frith’s close friend was William Tyndale, who had written twice to Frith to encourage him.
Sensing that his friend was wavering in his faith, Tyndale wrote,
“If your pain proves to be above your strength, pray to your Father in that Name, and He will ease it.”

Tyndale also wrote, “Your cause is Christ’s gospel, a light that must be fed with the blood of faith. The lamp must be dressed and snuffed daily, and that oil poured in every evening and morning, that the light go not out. Though we be sinners, yet is the cause right. If when we be buffeted for well doing, we suffer patiently and endure, that is acceptable to God; for
to that end we are called. For Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example,
that we should follow His steps…. For we suffer with Him, that we may also be
glorified with Him; who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like
unto His glorious body; according to the working whereby He is able even to subject
all things unto Him.”

Tyndale, who was the first to translate the English Bible directly from Hebrew and Greek texts and the first to take advantage of the printing press (invented in 1450 by Johannes Gutenberg). His translation was also the first of the new English Bibles of the Reformation, challenging the political control of both the Roman Catholic Church and English law that had maintained church rules.

John Frith was offered a pardon if he would recant his views and his faith. He refused.
He was burned at the stake on July 4, 1533. He was 30 years old.
Frith’s works were posthumously published in 1573 by John Foxe, an English historian and martyrologist, the author “Foxe’s Book of Martyrs.”

Tyndale’s translation made it possible for common folk to read the Bible for themselves. And for that “heresy” he was executed in 1536. He was first strangled then his dead body was burned at the stake.

The next time you pass up an opportunity to spend time reading your Bible, consider the price that was paid to bring God’s Word into your hands.
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I am including a two links to sites that I use nearly every day in my Bible study. Take advantage of the wealth of study helps, Scriptures in many versions, including audio, Commentaries, Devotionals, maps and other resources.
 
 
 
 

ONLY BEGOTTEN

Every morning and every evening I read a devotion written by the late C. H. Spurgeon.   Not surprisingly it is called “Morning and Evening”.

Spurgeon (1834-1892) was an early 19th century English preacher who in his youth, preached often to more than 10,000 souls at a time, sometimes twice a day.  His deep understanding of what he called the “still small voice” of God was the source of his abiding faith.  He understood that when God speaks to His children, this contact of the soul with God is the unseen touching that which is visible.  And this contact is the result of the barrier that was broken that moment that Christ our Savior said “It is finished.”

When I read today’s “Evening” devotion, I knew that it had to be posted here, now.  Let this be your confession today and everyday.

John 1:14, “The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”     

“BELIEVER, YOU can bear your testimony that Christ is the only begotten, the One and Only from the Father, as well as the first begotten from the dead.

You can say, “He is divine to me, if He be human to all the world beside. He has done that for me which none but a God could do.

He has subdued my stubborn will, melted a heart of adamant, opened gates of brass, and snapped bars of iron.

He hath turned for me my mourning into laughter, and my desolation into joy; He hath led my captivity captive, and made my heart rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.

Let others think as they will of Him, to me He must be the only begotten of the Father: blessed be His name.

And He is full of grace. Ah! had He not been I should never have been saved.

He drew me when I struggled to escape from His grace; and when at last I came all trembling like a condemned culprit to His mercy-seat He said, ‘Thy sins which are many are all forgiven thee: be of good cheer.’

And He is full of truth. True have His promises been, not one has failed.

I bear witness that never servant had such a master as I have; never brother such a kinsman as He has been to me; never spouse such a husband as Christ has been to my soul; never sinner a better Savior; never mourner a better comforter than Christ hath been to my spirit.

I want none beside Him.

In life He is my life, and in death He shall be the death of death; in poverty Christ is my riches; in sickness He makes my bed; in darkness He is my star, and in brightness He is my sun; He is the manna of the camp in the wilderness, and He shall be the new corn of the host when they come to Canaan.

Jesus is to me all grace and no wrath, all truth and no falsehood: and of truth and grace He is full, infinitely full.

My soul, this night, bless with all thy might THE ONLY BEGOTTEN, THE ONE and ONLY.”

http://www.spurgeon.org/daily.htm

Insignificance

 

We had planned a camping trip in April but we caught some sort of diabolical cold and between the two of us we were sick for nearly 3 weeks.                                                   

So, when we were finally settled into our campsite in Ft. DeSoto Park in sunny south St. Petersburg, we were happy that we had finally made it.                                                   

The get-away time was supposed to be for total relaxing, some fishing and a lot of kayaking.  But we were too busy chasing raccoons our of our tent to relax, and it was way too windy for much in the way of fishing or kayaking.

 This is just one of our many “house guests”. . . .   People feeding the raccoons has made them fearless and insistent in their efforts to gain access to any food that is in or around your campsite.  This old lady we named “Stumpy”.  She had many battle scars, evidence of recent children and was minus her tail. 

 

 

 

In spite of all of our daily visitors and the winds that blew like crazy, we did manage to take the yaks out one day to paddle from the rest area just south of the Skyway bridge to Rattlesnake Key, a fairly large key south of the Skyway.  It was quite a trip across the open water between the Skyway and the key, a total distance of about four miles.

Four miles isn’t a great distance to paddle, but the open water of lower Tampa Bay can be sloppy, especially when the winds are gusting at times to 25 to 30 MPH.

It took us about an hour to make it across to the place where Skip had been some years ago.  When we got there, we spent about an hour roaming along the beach.  For most of the day, there was not another boat in sight.  We were totally alone.  It was at times disconcerting yet invigorating.  The only sounds were the sounds of the birds that were along the shore.  So far from any roads, phones or other voices. . . .

Then the even rougher trip back across the bay. ….. Skip taking the more direct line across the bay but since my yak doesn’t ride well in rough water unless I am heading bow first into the waves, I had to take a longer trip.  But once I got across the open water I was able to turn and ride the waves north along the shore until I reached the small bridge that we had to go under to get back to where we had put our yaks into the water.

It was during my solo paddle across the bay that I began to think of all of the very godly people whom I have known in my life, wonderful godly people who have influenced me over the years and I thought of 1 Peter 5, where the Apostle Peter said, “I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and who will also share in the glory that will be revealed. Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, exercising the oversight, not under compulsion, but voluntarily, not for dishonest gain, but willingly; neither as lording it over the charge allotted to you, but making yourselves examples to the flock. When the chief Shepherd is revealed, you will receive the crown of glory that doesn’t fade away. Likewise, you younger ones, be subject to the elder. Yes, all of you gird yourselves with humility, to subject yourselves to one another; for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time; casting all your worries on him, because he cares for you.”

And I remembered reading recently about an 18th Century English preacher who pastored a small church in Loughwood, England.  Compared to the large churches today his small congregation would not have impressed anyone.  I think the article about Pastor Isaac Hann said that is total membership was less than 35, and most of the regulars were women.

God has a problem with pride.  And here was a man who might not even be considered successful in today’s world, yet when he died at nearly 90 years old, he was remembered by his congregation as a humble man.  They hung a plaque in the small church that honored his humility and in part it reads, “Few ministers so humble were, yet few so much admired: Ripened for heaven by grace divine, like autumn fruit he fell; Reader think not to live so long, but seek to live as well.”

As I paddled against the waves, I was made enormously aware of how small and insignificant I was.  And I talked to the LORD as I paddled and became even more aware of His love for me.

Amazing love, how can it be, that God would come and die for me. . . .

If that won’t humble you, nothing will!

Dear LORD, Even if I resist and do not humble myself before You, my efforts here on this earth regardless of how determined, humble me.  All of my energy is insignificant in the shadow of Your greatness.  Work deep in my heart to create in me what You will. Your grace and mercy overwhelm me.  In Christ and by the power in His Name, I pray, Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1760 Degrees Fahrenheit

The other day my husband and I were reminiscing about our early years in St. Petersburg. Not sure why, but we got to talking about a testing lab that was there many years ago. That particular lab tested the strength of various construction materials and they always had the neatest rounds of concrete that could be picked up for next to nothing. About the size of a jumbo sized soup can, they were perfect for edging flowerbeds, walks and drive-ways. And the price was right too!

There was always a big pile of the test cores to pick through. Many of course had failed their test and were cracked or broken. But there were still many that had passed the test.

Later, as I thought about some of the times that I spent picking through the pile to find unbroken chunks to use, I wondered where all of that concrete had been used? So many places it could have been used, right there in the city where I lived and worked. Highway overpasses, sidewalks, bridges, even buildings where I may have shopped.

For each specific use, whether a building or a bridge, the strength requirements were different.

And then I thought about how much strength it takes to survive life as we grow in our faith as a Christian. I thought about how sometimes we cruise along with no apparent obstacles to suddenly be attacked from every direction. Then I thought of Ephesians 6 and remembered what the Apostle Paul said to do. . .

“Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. Stand, therefore with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word. Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.”

So often we try to stand against things that are oppressing us with our own strength. But as Christians we must not forget that God, in His grace and mercy has given us weapons and protection that is far above anything that can come against us.

The psalmist said in Psalm 17 that God had tested the heart and in Psalm 66, that God tests us, refines us as silver is refined. Silver requires temperatures exceeding 1760 degrees Fahrenheit to melt. That is an extreme test!

We all can look around and see the tremendous changes that are happening in the world. Attitudes about so many things are changing by the minute. Christians in the United States have never before been faced with so much opposition and discrimination. Nor have we ever suffered severe persecution. But I know I am not alone when I say that I believe that it is coming.

Begin each day by prayerfully putting on God’s armor. It will be our only defense.

LORD of all, thank you for Your armor.  Help us to remember to put in on each morning before doing anything else.  And when the temperatures rise as we are tested and tried, give us strength to stand as You once did.  Amen.

Time And Space

Back before we had Google, Bing or Wikipedia, I had heard of an event that had taken place on July 20, 1969.  But having no easy way to validate the story, it sort of floated in and out of my brain without sticking.
 
But this morning someone sent me a brief reminder of that event and now with the click of a key I was able to locate the full article as published in October 1970 in Guideposts magazine.
 
Communion In Space by Buzz Aldrin
 
An Astronaut Tells of a little-known but Significant Event on the Moon
 
For several weeks prior to the scheduled lift-off of Apollo 11 back in July, 1969, the pastor of our church, Dean Woodruff, and I had been struggling to find the right symbol for the first lunar landing.  We wanted to express our feeling that what man was doing in this mission transcended electronics and computers and rockets.

Dean often speaks at our church, Webster Presbyterian, just outside of Houston, about the many meanings of the communion service.

“One of the principal symbols,” Dean says, “is that God reveals Himself in the common elements of everyday life.”  Traditionally, these elements are bread and wine—common foods in Bible days and typical products of man’s labor.

One day while I was at Cape Kennedy working with the sophisticated tools of the space effort, it occurred to me that these tools were the typical elements of life today.  I wondered if it might be possible to take communion on the moon, symbolizing the thought that God was revealing Himself there too, as man reached out into the universe.  For there are many of us in the NASA program who do trust that what we are doing is part of God’s eternal plan for man.

I spoke with Dean about the idea as soon as I returned home, and he was enthusiastic.

“I could carry the bread in a plastic packet, the way regular inflight food is wrapped.  And the wine also—there will be just enough gravity on the moon for liquid to pour.  I’ll be able to drink normally from a cup.  Dean, I wonder if you could look around for a little chalice that I could take with me as coming from the church?”

The next week Dean showed me a graceful silver cup.  I hefted it and was pleased to find that it was light enough to take along.  Each astronaut is allowed a few personal items on a flight; the wine chalice would be in my personal-preference kit.

Dean made special plans for two special communion services at Webster Presbyterian Church.  One would be held just prior to my leaving Houston for Cape Kennedy, when I would join the other members in a dedication service.  The second would take place two weeks later, Sunday, July 20, when Neil Armstrong and I were scheduled to be on the surface of the moon.  On that Sunday the church back home would gather for communion, while I joined them as close as possible to the same hour, taking communion inside the lunar module, all of us meaning to represent in this small way not only our local church but the Church as a whole.

Right away question came up.  Was it theologically correct for a layman to serve himself communion under these circumstances?  Dean thought so, but to make sure he decided to write the stated clerk of the Presbyterian church’s General Assembly and got back a quick reply that this was permissible.

And how much should we talk about our plans?  I am naturally rather reticent, but on the other hand I was becoming increasingly convinced that having religious convictions carried with it the responsibility of witnessing to them.  Finally we decided we would say nothing about the communion service until after the moonshot.

I had a question about which scriptural passage to use.  Which reading would best capture what this enterprise meant to us?  I thought long about this and came up at last with John 15:5.  It seemed to fit perfectly.  I wrote the passage on a slip of paper to be carried aboard Eagle along with the communion elements.  Dean would read the same passage at the full congregation service held back home that same day.

So at last we were set.  And then trouble appeared.  It was Saturday, just prior to the first of the two communion services.  The next day, Neil Armstrong, Mike Collins and I were to depart Houston for Cape Kennedy.  We were scheduled for a pre-mission press conference when the flight physician arrived and set up elaborate precautions against crew contamination.  We had to wear sterile masks and to talk to the reporters from within a special partition.  The doctor was taking no chances.  A cold germ, a flu virus, and the whole shot might have to be aborted.  I felt I had to tell him about the big church service scheduled for the next morning.  When I did, he wasn’t at all happy.

I called Dean with the news late Saturday night.  “It doesn’t look real good, Dean.”

“What about a private service?  Without the whole congregation?”

It was a possibility.  I called the doctor about the smaller service and he agreed, provided there were only a handful of people present.  So the next day, Sunday, shortly after the end of the 11 o’clock service my wife, Joan and our oldest boy Mike (the only one of our three children who is as yet a communicant), went to the church.  There we met Dean, his wife, Floy, and our close family friend Tom Manison, elder of the church and his wife.  The seven of us went in to the now-empty sanctuary.  On the communion table were two loaves of bread, one for now, the other for two weeks from now.  Beside the two loaves were two chalices, one of them the small cup the church was giving me for the service on the moon.

We took communion.  At the end of the service Dean tore off a corner of the second loaf of bread and handed it to me along with the tiny chalice.  Within a few hours I was on my way to Cape Kennedy.

What happened there, of course, the whole world knows.  The Saturn 5 rocket gave us a rough ride at first, but the rest of the trip was smooth.  On the day of the moon landing, we awoke at 5:30 a.m., Houston time.  Neil and I separated from Mike Collins in the command module.  Our powered descent was right on schedule, and perfect except for one unforeseeable difficulty.  The automatic guidance system would have taken Eagle to an area with huge boulders.  Neil had to steer Eagle to a more suitable terrain.  With only seconds worth of fuel left, we touched down at 3:30 p.m.

Now Neil and I were sitting inside Eagle, while Mike circled in lunar orbit unseen in the black sky above us.  In a little while after our scheduled meal period, Neil would give the signal to step down the ladder onto the powdery surface of the moon.  Now was the moment for communion.

So I unstowed the elements in their flight packets.  I put them and the scripture reading on the little table in front of the abort guidance system computer.

Then I called back to Houston.

“Houston, this is Eagle.  This is the LM Pilot speaking.  I would like to request a few moments of silence.  I would like to invite each person listening in, wherever and whomever he may be, to contemplate for a moment the events of the past few hours and to invite each person listening, wherever and whomever he may be, to contemplate for a moment the events of the past few hours and to give thanks in his own individual way.”
On World Communion Sunday, October 4, 1970, many Christians through the world will unite in spirit as they—each in his own church, according to his own tradition—participate in celebrating the Lord’s Supper.
For me this meant taking communion.  In the radio blackout I opened the little plastic packages which contained bread and wine.

I poured the wine into the chalice our church had given me.  In the one-sixth gravity of the moon the wine curled slowly and gracefully up the side of the cup.  It was interesting to think that the very first liquid ever poured on the moon, and the first food eaten there, were communion elements.

And so, just before I partook of the elements, I read the words, which I had chosen to indicate our trust that as man probes into space we are in fact acting in Christ.

I sensed especially strongly my unity with our church back home, and with the Church everywhere.

I read: I am the vine, you are the branches.  Whoever remains in me, and I in him, will bear much fruit; for you can do nothing without me” (John 15:5).

END

And I only have one thing to add. . . . Hallelujah!!

Eternal Life

Friends, I must begin this with my deepest thanks to all those who emailed and/or called during these last few weeks.  I’m not sure what exactly Skip & I had, but whatever it was, it was diabolical.  I was sick first, then as I began to recover, he came down with it.  Yesterday, was one of the first days that we have been out of the house, and that was only by necessity.  So thank you all for your prayers and concern.  🙂
 
And being sick sure made me thankful for the Audio Bible and for my SwordSearcher program. . . .
 
The first five verses of John, (ch. 1) have always been some of my favorites.  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created.  Life was in Him, and that life was the light of men.  That light shines in the darkness, yet the darkness did not overcome it.”
Those verses so distinctly describe our Savior and I think of how blessed the Apostle John was to have been given such a wonderous glimpse of God.
 
So when someone tells me that they want to begin reading the Bible, I immediately think of what John wrote and it only makes sense to begin with those words, “In the beginning. . “
 
Further along in John (Ch. 17) , John has recorded for us the words that Jesus spoke, This is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and the One You have sent, Jesus Christ.
Now this is not John’s first mention of “eternal life”, in fact, in previous chapters leading up to chapter 17, John has talked about eternal life many times.  But it is here, in vs. 3 of chapter 17, that Jesus tells us exactly what “eternal life” truly is.
 
Jesus knew exactly what eternal life was. He is eternal life and that truth was spelled out “in the beginning”. . . .
 
Now Jesus tells us that eternal life is knowing God, the only true God AND the One God sent, that is Jesus.
 
Jesus didn’t say that knowing God was a part of eternal life or was just included in eternal life.                                                                                                                      No, Jesus said that knowing God and knowing the One Whom God had sent WAS eternal life.
 
Truly, there are many things that included in eternal life, like forgiveness of our sins, giving up hell as a final destination in exchange for the peace and joy of heaven. 
Having God’s protection, intervention and guidance in our lives is certainly part of eternal life, as is, having a family much larger than just our own immediate kin, which is a blessing beyond measure.  And above all, having an intimate relationship with our Savior is one of the sweetest parts of our eternal life. 
But regardless of how many things one can add to the list, it is still insufficient to describe the fullness of eternal life.  I guess it’s like trying to describe the whiteness of the sun to someone who has never seen it.
Only what Jesus Christ said in that verse is adequate to explain eternal life.

This is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and the One You have sent, Jesus Christ. ” 

 

When I consider all the people who I have known and do still know, I must think of their relationship to me.  Even the closest of friends can’t be there for me every time I go through a rough place in my life, but Jesus is. 
There is not one friend, past or present who can turn my heart, heal my heart, lift my heart or fill my heart.  But Jesus can.
There is not one person that I know who would not turn from me in my failure, but Jesus won’t.
 
Our eternal life should be the center of our thoughts.  It is there that our relationship with our Savior is secured. 
 
Hudson Taylor who was the founder of the first missions group to China, the China Inland Mission, once said, “The experience of most of us shows how easily communion with Christ may be broken, and how needful are the exhortations of our Lord to those who are indeed branches of the true Vine, and cleansed by the Word which He has spoken, to abide in Him.  The failure is never on His side. Lo, I am with you always.”  But, alas, the bride often forgets the exhortation addressed to her in Psalms 45:10-11, “Listen, daughter, pay attention and consider: forget your people and your father’s house, and the king will desire your beauty.  Bow down to Him, for He is your Lord..”
 
Tender plants are damaged by the frost, even large branches are torn down by strong winds.  Jesus likened believers to the branches of the true Vine.  It is up to each of us to keep our communion with our Savior intact. 
                                 
Lord God of the beginning of beginnings,
I thank You for bringing Your healing to this house.  As we savor Your Word each morning, keep us mindful of Your eternal life.
Strengthen our faith and guide us so that we can faithfully care for that tender connection that we have as branches on the true Vine.  Help us to set aside all things that might damage our connection to You.
Stir our hearts to seek You, to desire Your beauty and to worship only You.
Amen.
 

Waiting On God

In Psalm 90:10, David said, “Our lives last seventy years or, if we are strong, eighty years.  Even the best of them are struggle and sorrow; indeed, they pass quickly and we fly away.

My dad lived to be 80.  And I can honestly attest to the fact that his final 10 years were difficult.  It was during that time that he was diagnosed with Leukemia and went through several chemo treatments.

I think it was very labor intensive for him to have made it to his 80th year.  And I honestly think that if it had not been for the prodding and pleading of my mom, he would have peacefully gone on to meet the LORD much sooner.  And it was during those final years of his life that he got to the place where he didn’t like waiting in line.

And it is a fact, that during our 70 plus years, we do an enormous amount of waiting.  I read recently that over the course of an average life span, most people spend 5 years of their lives waiting in lines for all the stuff that we think we can’t live without.

5 years!! That’s a long time!

During the Christmas holidays, we all saw people willing to spend the night in lawn chairs in front of stores in order to buy some special item.  They waited. . . .

We all seem to have a weakness when it comes to waiting for things we think we need.

But how are we when it comes to waiting on God?

David seemed to speak of waiting on God a lot.

In Psalm 25, he wrote, “Make Your ways known to me, LORD; teach me Your paths.  Guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; I wait for You all day long.  Remember, LORD, Your compassion and Your faithful love, for they have existed from antiquity.  Do not remember the sins of my youth or my acts of rebellion; in keeping with Your faithful love, remember me because of Your goodness, LORD.”

And in Psalm 62, if we listen hard, we might hear David singing, “Rest in God alone, my soul, for my hope comes from Him.  He alone is my rock and my salvation,my stronghold; I will not be shaken.  My salvation and glory depend on God, my strong rock.  My refuge is in God.  Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before Him.  God is our refuge.”

As Christians we are all waiting expectantly for Christ’s glorious return.                               1 Corinthians 1 and 1 Thessalonians 1

But in the mean time we are admonished to stand, (Ephesians 6) and sometimes standing is very hard to do.  And when the Apostle Paul said ‘stand’, he didn’t just mean for us to be upright, he meant that we must continue, we must be established in the place that Christ has placed us, unmoving and resisting the enemies fiery darts, no matter how fearsome the attack.

Peter, faithful Peter saw what the winds were doing to the waves and even though he had stepped out of the boat in faith, fear overwhelmed him and he began to sink into the troubled waters. (Matthew 14)

If a man who is within an arms reach of Jesus could become fearful because of what his natural eye saw, should we expect more of ourselves?

Jesus gave Peter a slight reprimand when He said, You of little faith, why did you doubt?

But wrapped in that reprimand was also an acknowledgment of the steps that Peter had taken out onto the unknown, onto the troubled waters with just a little bit of faith.  Jesus, is not only omnipotent but omniscient and was well able to lift Peter up out of the overwhelming waves, knowing full well, even before Peter took the first step that he was going to falter.

Today, troubling times are as the waves that brought fear into Peter’s heart.  And many of those around us are being inundated by the waves of trouble.  But stand fast.

He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I will never be shaken.” (Psalm 62)

“On that day it will be said, “Look, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He has saved us.  This is the LORD; we have waited for Him.  Let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.” (Isaiah 25)

Don’t forget to check out these great Bible study helps:

www.swordsearcher.com

http://www.biblegateway.com

http://www.biblestudytools.com